Arsenal v Hull: Defensive power to ensure a home clean sheet

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They may be the masters of the short pass in this country, have a midfielder in world-beating form and a four point lead at the top of the Premier League but, rather than heap praise on Arsenal’s attacking gumption, it’s about time their defensive play was heralded.

The 3-0 win over Cardiff last time out was the north London club’s third clean sheet in a row in all competitions and their sixth in eight all together. Arsenal conceded just one goal in the entire month of November and own the joint most stingy backline in the league – their 10 goals ties Southampton in that department.

So, when the red-shirted masses descend on the Emirates to watch their side’s clash with Hull, it’s fair to say many of them will be expecting another shutout.

Some may be tempted to stick a few quid on the 8/13 Ladbrokes are offering on a home clean sheet – which looks to be the betting equivalent of walking up to the ATM to find some cash has been left by the previous visitor – while a win to nil, which has landed in all of Arsene Wenger’s last six victories, is 3/4.

Hull are certainly proving to be plucky top-flight customers, which their position of 10th place indicates, but the one thing they are not is free-scoring.

Steve Bruce’s men have the second-worst goals total in the top half of the table and have only contributed five to that tally in their away games, three of which came in one match against Newcastle.

But, should they successfully plot a path to the back of the Arsenal net it is unlikely to occur more than once considering the Tigers have only scored more than one goal twice this season and Arsenal have shipped two in just a single game.

Whether Hull score or not, the 3/1 on there being exactly three goals in the game, which has been the case in five of the last six meetings, looks tasty.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.